The parameters have been set. The Cardinals and the agents for Ryan Ludwick and Rick Ankiel have a better idea of what they're working with. Now it's time to work something out.
Players and teams exchanged arbitration figures on Tuesday, the latest step in the process by which salaries are determined for arbitration-eligible players. The figures provide a realm within which to negotiate. And, of course, if the cases go to arbitration, one of the two figures will be the player's salary for 2009.
Ludwick asked for $4.25 million, and the Cardinals offered $2.8 million. Ankiel came in at $3.3 million against the Cardinals' $2.35 million.
The gap between Ludwick and the Cardinals is one of the largest of the 46 players for whom numbers were submitted. The difference of $1.45 million was the sixth-greatest, as Ludwick asked for 51.8 percent more than the Cardinals offered -- also sixth-largest. Ankiel's differentials of $950,000 and 40.4 percent both landed roughly in the middle of the pack.
Arbitration salaries are determined by a combination of performance and service time. Ankiel has five years and 34 days of service time; Ludwick is at three years, 109 days.
Earlier in the day, the Cardinals announced that they had agreed to terms with right-hander Brad Thompson on a one-year deal to avoid arbitration. Thompson will make $650,000, according to the Associated Press.
Righty Todd Wellemeyer and Chris Duncan agreed to terms on Monday. Wellemeyer will make $4.05 million, and Duncan will receive $825,000, also according to AP reports.
Matthew Leach is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.